These authors, from Australia, describe twelve categories of "disease" that are expanding without obvious clinical benefit, as well as a brief overview of the sorts of practices that drive overdiagnosis. It's a bit of a lead-in to next year's conference, Preventing Overdiagnosis, at Dartmouth University.
The entire article is worth reading, but I thought their table with the drivers of overdiagnosis was a nice summary:
- Technological changes detecting ever smaller “abnormalities”
- Commercial and professional vested interests
- Conflicted panels producing expanded disease definitions and writing guidelines
- Legal incentives that punish underdiagnosis but not overdiagnosis
- Health system incentives favouring more tests and treatments
- Cultural beliefs that more is better; faith in early detection unmodified by its risks
"Preventing overdiagnosis: how to stop harming the healthy"